New MSU book prescribes habitat management in unlikely places


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Posted: 6/5/2009


A new book by two Mississippi State faculty members is examining more than a half-century of research on wildlife habitat enhancement techniques used for areas often given little or no consideration.

"Wildlife Habitat Management for Special Use Areas" by wildlife biology professor emeritus Dale H. Arner and wildlife and fisheries professor Jeanne Jones deals with such areas as utility lines and other rights-of-way, surface mines and disposal areas, abandoned orchards, farmland, beaver-impounded water, and impoverished forest lands.

The 163-page book is available through the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and the university’s department of wildlife and fisheries.

Arner, an internationally known researcher, began his career at the land-grant university in 1962. He organized and hosted the first International Symposium of Environmental Concerns in Rights-of-Way Management during the 1970s and is considered among the major authorities in habitat management on utility line rights-of-way.

Jones, a 25-year university veteran, has spent much of her career developing wildlife habitat and management plans for military facilities throughout the state. In addition to military land restoration, she is a specialist in ecotourism and the economic values of game and non-game wildlife, as well as ecosystem management and restoration—especially conservation of native biological diversity.

Though written primarily for landowners and natural resource managers, the book’s goal is to equip all interested readers with the knowledge required to confront the challenges of wildlife habitat management under special conditions.

"It is important that we develop habitat in these underutilized areas because the land base available to wildlife constantly is shrinking," Jones said.

Arner noted that "our recommendations are based on field trials covering a span of nearly five decades, with many technicians and researchers involved in data collection."

A Pennsylvania native, he holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Pennsylvania State University, and a doctorate from Auburn University. He retired from MSU in 1987.

A native of Vicksburg, Jones is a University of Southern Mississippi graduate who completed her master’s and doctorate at MSU and joined the faculty in 1984. She also received training in illustration and photography at the University of Arizona.

Wildlife and Fisheries